Three Florida men face federal charges in Cincinnati, OH, for their alleged role in a financial fraud conspiracy that involved stealing identities in order to fraudulently obtain tax refunds, coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus checks, and credit cards.
Adesh Alvin Bissoon, 41, of Miami Beach; Michael Jacques Joseph, 37, of Miami Beach; and Victor Torres, 38, of Apollo Beach are charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud affecting a financial institution, and aggravated identity theft. It is unclear if they have acquired legal representation.
According to the criminal complaint, the three men allegedly used the dark web to obtain personally identifiable information (PII) for multiple individuals, some of whom lived in Cincinnati. They purportedly verified the PII was accurate using the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) eAuthentication process. After verifying the details, the defendants filed fraudulent tax returns using the information, causing the victims’ tax refunds and stimulus checks to be deposited into bank accounts under their control, the complaint alleges.
The complaint further claims that the trio used the victims’ information to create fraudulent driver’s licenses and Social Security cards, which they then used to open bank accounts under the victims’ names. They allegedly used the accounts to fraudulently request convenience checks in high dollar amounts from banks. They also fraudulently registered companies in order to obtain business credit cards with higher credit limits, according to the complaint.
It is unclear how much the trio managed to steal from the alleged fraud scheme, but the complaint claims investigators have managed to identify more than $1 million in suspected criminal proceeds transferred through bank accounts associated with Bissoon alone.
Bissoon was initially charged and released on bond in Florida, but a judge revoked his partial release on August 28 after finding probable cause to believe he had allegedly attempted to steal another $150,000 from a bank while on release by falsely claiming to be the victim of unauthorized bank transfers.
If convicted, each of the defendants faces up to 30 years in prison for the fraud and conspiracy charges, and an additional two years in prison for the identity theft charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release.
Fraud is a crime that generally involves the use of deception for personal gain or damage to another individual. Due to the rise in fraud cases in Florida in recent years, a lot of state and federal resources are now being used to focus on the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of such cases. As a result, there has been a rise in incidents where people are falsely accused of committing fraud.
Since fraud charges can have a significant impact on a person’s life and freedom, it is crucial for anyone accused of committing fraud to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible to protect their legal rights.
South Florida Fraud Defense Attorney